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Prabhupāda: ...means ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā (BG 3.27). The more we get material possession, our false egotism increases: "I have got this. I have got this. Who is more powerful than me?" Āḍhyo 'ham abhijān asmi ko 'sti mayā (BG 16.15). These are described in the Sixteenth Chapter. What is the meaning of this ahaṅkāra? Because vimūḍhātmā, that "I have got this motorcar. I have got this property," but within a second it can be finished. There is another, superior law. That he forgets. He sees actually, but he forgets. That is called vimūḍhātmā. He is seeing, everyone. Of course, our time and nature's time, little different. So many Hitlers, so many Napoleons, so many Gandhis, so many Jawaharlal came and went. But they do not see. Paśyann api na paśyati (SB 2.1.4). They are seeing actually; still, they do not see. Blind. In India the Muhammadans came. They ruled over. Where is the Moghul? The Englishmen came. Where they are? Everything gone. Paśyann api na paśyati. This is called vimūḍhātmā. That is going on. The material civilization means ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā. By false egotism they are bewildered and rascals. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has translated this, that jaḍā-bidyā jato, māyāra vaibhava: "All this material advancement of civilization is the paraphernalia of māyā." Because you cannot enjoy it, but you are thinking, "I possess so much. I possess so much." You'll not be allowed to enjoy, but still... Therefore all these material possessions are the paraphernalia of māyā. So what is the wrong there? Now, wrong is this: jaḍā-bidyā jato, māyāra vaibhava, tomāra bhajane bādhā. They are hindrances for advancement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the aim of human life. That, you forget that. So tomāra bhajane bādhā, anitya saṁsāre, moha janamiyā. The result is that he becomes more attached to this temporary world and remains the rascal. Because without being rascal, nobody comes in this material world to enjoy. As soon as anyone has come to this material world, he's a rascal. Kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare, nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare (Prema-vivarta).
Cyavana: Śrīla Prabhupāda? In some parts of the Bible it describes how things were being carried out, and they say that the activities were going on according to the will of God. Does that mean that there was a God conscious civilization then?
Prabhupāda: Activities? These activities are going on. The sun is rising by the will of God; the moon is rising, will of God. You are being punished by the will of God. He is the Supreme.
Cyavana: But they described that people were worshiping and that children were being born...
Cyavana: Children were being born according to God's will.
Cyavana: It's described in certain parts of...
Prabhupāda: Children will be born... If you are... If the child is sinful, then it will go to the womb of a mother who will kill him. That's all. By the will. By the..., that he should be punished. One who has used contraceptive and abortion method, by the will of God he will enter another mother, and the mother will kill him.
Cyavana: But the Bible, it indicates...
Prabhupāda: Now, now, you see, try, understand. You are very good Bible quoter, but try to understand each and everything. Simply you go on quoting, but understand what is that quotation. It is by the will of God. You have committed sinful life by contraceptive method. Now you enter in the womb of another mother and be killed. That is Bible.
Cyavana: So what is described there was not actually God consciousness or...
Prabhupāda: No, it is God consciousness if you understand it that "I am now being punished by the will of God. I have done sinful activities." That is God conscious.
Gurudāsa: God gives what everyone wants.
Gurudāsa: If they desire that, they get that.
Prabhupāda: You wanted this punishment; therefore you get it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: People are thinking that the punishment is something worse than this, that "This is very nice. We can live here and be happy, and the punishment is in hell."
Prabhupāda: No, no.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: "Here we live happily."
Prabhupāda: That... No, no. That is the nature of the living being, that he is happy by nature because he is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (BS 5.1). So ānanda is nature, but he is finding..., trying to find out nature in sinful life. Therefore he is being punished. That he does not know.
Gurudāsa: So that's his ignorance.
Prabhupāda: That is ignorance. His nature is to become happy. He is happy, happy. Just like our natural position is we are healthy. Nature has made this body. But we create such situation that we become ill, sick. And at that time we see, "Oh, I am..." What is that? "I am infected. I have been contaminated," go to the doctor, injection. But the natural life is no disease.
Prabhupāda: But you create a situation; therefore become diseased.
Gurudāsa: Otherwise it wouldn't be called "diseased," because it would be normal to be sick. But disease means...
Prabhupāda: Normal life means no sickness.
Prabhupāda: And as soon as there is sickness, that means punishment. So if you want to be punished, then violate the hygienic laws. You can see that there is hospital and medical treatment and medicine—for whom?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Sick people.
Prabhupāda: No, for the human society. Not for the birds, beasts. Because they follow nature's law. But this rascal violates nature's law and suffers.
Yadubara: What about for the devotees, Śrīla Prabhupāda? Sometimes they are very sick, have so many...
Prabhupāda: Devotees... To become devotee is not so cheap thing. You don't think that because you have got a tilaka you have become devotee. Why do you think like that?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Jaya Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: That Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, eiṭa eka kalira chelā, nāke tilaka, galaya mālā: "Here is another follower of Kali. He has got tilaka and mālā." Sahaja bhajana kacen māmu, saṅga laiyā pārera wala(?): "He is worshiping, bhajana, taking another's wife." Sahaja bhajana kacen māmu, saṅga laiyā pārera wala, ei ṭa eka kalira chelā: "Here is a servant of Kali. Simply he has changed his dress with tilaka and mālā." Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says. If you take tilaka and mālā and do all nonsense things, then you are not a devotee. You are kali-chelā. To become a devotee is not so easy thing.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Devotee means perfect.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Certainly. Devotee means sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). He is above these material laws. That is devotee. Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. He is in the Brahman stage. That is devotee. If you take... That means sahajiyā. "Because I have got a tilaka and mālā, I have become devotee." This kind of cheating will not do.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And in this modern age, this cheating is very prominent...
Prabhupāda: No, no. Modern or old, anyone who is a conditioned soul, he has got cheating propensity, four defects. One of them is the cheating propensity.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. But the mental stage in this age is very strong. Mental. They think mentally they have found a solution.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) That they can do.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: But they...
Prabhupāda: Within mind you can think, "I have become emperor of the world." That you can do. Who can check you? But that is not the actual fact.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That is the characteristic.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is mental concoction. Within mind you can think, "I have become the proprietor of the banks, all the banks." Madman that is. He's a madman.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: They have so many philosophies, but it's all mental.
Prabhupāda: All mental. We say, therefore, don't say "philosophy." We say "mental speculation."
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Jaya.
Prabhupāda: Philosophy means tattva-darśinaḥ. That is described, tattva-darśinaḥ. One has seen the truth, he is philosopher. And who is hovering in the mental concoction platform, he's a rascal. "I think." This is... Their all European philosophy is...
Ātreya Ṛṣi: "I believe."
Prabhupāda: "I believe," "In my opinion." He's a rascal, and he is giving his opinion.
Cyavana: Prabhupāda, are the laws of karma written?
Prabhupāda: Laws of karma is you touch fire, your finger will be burned. This is laws of karma. You cannot avoid it.
Cyavana: They are so complicated, though. Are they actually written?
Prabhupāda: That is another... This is the law of karma: if you do something which is forbidden, then you suffer. This is laws of karma. Or you enjoy, both good and bad. That is the laws of karma, either you take the result good or the bad.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: To a devotee it is very clear, the laws of karma. He sees how that God, Kṛṣṇa, is just.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Devotee means tattva-darśī. He has seen the real truth. Devotee means who follows Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is giving the real truth. If you take, then you are devotee. If you don't take, you are nondevotee.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: What is the role of mercy if one takes or doesn't take?
Prabhupāda: Mercy means... Suppose you are a devotee. Unknowingly or by some bad habit you have done something wrong. That is excused. But if you intentionally do, that "I am devotee; Kṛṣṇa will excuse me," then you are rascal.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: That's the greatest offense.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Cheating. Cheating Kṛṣṇa. Cheating Kṛṣṇa is no business. That is to be punished. You cannot cheat Kṛṣṇa. But if by accident, knowingly or unknowingly, you have done something which is not good, that is excused. Sva-pāda-mūlaṁ bhajataḥ priyasya (SB 11.5.42). If you are actually, because you have given so much service to Kṛṣṇa, you have become very dear to Him, so unknowingly you have done, committed sin—excused. Bhajataḥ priyasya. This word is used. You must have to become very dear to Him. Then if you accidentally commit some sin, that is excused.
Gurudāsa: What does "unknowingly" mean, Śrīla...
Prabhupāda: Unknowingly means... Suppose you are a smoker. So now you have given up everything. But in the association of some smoker you incline, "All right, let me smoke." Then you regret, "Oh, I have done this." It can happen. So that is excused. But if you think, "Now I am a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. I can smoke like anything, and everything will be excused," then you are a rascal.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Also, Śrīla Prabhupāda, we are knowing that we are so sinful and we're so rascals, but having the opportunity of association of pure devotee and Kṛṣṇa, that's also mercy.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, yes.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Because we can see that we are..., our hearts are not clean, and we are constantly thinking of māyā...
Prabhupāda: Education, education.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: This is mercy. This is greatest mercy.
Prabhupāda: Just like you are being educated. Not that cent percent mark you are getting, but because you are trying to be educated, so that is also good. That is also good.
Devotee(1): Therefore the association is most important.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, very important, so that if I commit some mistake, I'll regret: "Oh, my other associate, he is not coming to act in that..." That chance he'll get.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: So we pay a little attention to Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa gives us a lot of attention.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That is mercy.
Prabhupāda: If you give... If you go forward, Kṛṣṇa, one step, He comes forward ten steps.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: He runs.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is His mercy.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That is mercy.
Hari-śauri: I just read on one of the pages of that Bhāgavatam where you said in a purport that Kṛṣṇa desires that we go back home a lot more strongly than we desire to go back home.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Therefore He comes. He is very anxious to take back His sons, back to home, back... Just like father. If he sees, "My son is suffering there, leaving home," he tries to get him back.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Unfortunately, we don't even desire.
Prabhupāda: And therefore you are madness.
Devotee: But the materialists will say...
Gurudāsa: Therefore you have come.
Devotee: ...Śrīla Prabhupāda, that if God is..., if He is actually wanting us to go back, then why is He causing suffering?
Devotee: If He wants us to come to back home to Godhead...
Prabhupāda: But, you rascal, you are suffering. He says, "Come back." You don't go.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Because He has given you freedom, and this is...
Prabhupāda: He says, "My dear boy, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66)." But you don't do. You must suffer. It is your creation, suffering. You must suffer.
Devotee: They say, "If He is all-loving, why is He...?"
Prabhupāda: Loving, but... You are... I love you. I say that "Do this." If you don't do it, then...?
Devotee: It's reciprocal.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You must suffer.
Yadubara: So the suffering is His mercy also.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Suffering means he'll be purified. Suffering is the process of purification.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And part of His laws. It's within His laws.
Prabhupāda: You have infected some disease. You suffer. Then the enviousness (?) of Kṛṣṇa will go away by suffering.
Gurudāsa: So the pure devotee is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (BS 5.1).
Ātreya Ṛṣi: So this question of freedom of jīva and control of Kṛṣṇa, that there is freedom but at the same time there is no freedom, is a very fine line between the two that sometimes we do not understand.
Prabhupāda: But why don't you understand? Just like you belong to a free nation, the America. Does it mean you are free to do anything and everything?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: With your limited freedom.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: There's a fine line between this freedom...
Prabhupāda: When you say, "I belong to this free nation," then yes, you are free. But that does not mean that you can do anything and everything.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Take that example of the habit, if someone is smoking out of habit. So again. So is he free in that smoking, or is it..., has he completely surrendered his freedom?
Prabhupāda: No, no... These things are very common. Just like in your country the government has written on the cigarette box, "It is harmful to health." But if you still smoke at your risk, do it.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: So freedom... You can smoke, but you cannot avoid suffering from the result.
Prabhupāda: Yes, from the result.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: You have to suffer.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: This is the law if you smoke.
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the law.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And you cannot smoke outside the laws. You cannot smoke a cigarette...
Prabhupāda: This is... Already warning is there, that "If you smoke, you'll suffer." And if you still do that: suffer. What can be done? Common thing.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: The freedom is always there—minute independence.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Minute.
Gurudāsa: Freedom with responsibility.
Gurudāsa: Just like they say that you have the freedom to yell "There's a fire" in a theater, but you don't do it.
Prabhupāda: So many examples are there. Freedom is there, but you are not absolutely free to do whatever you like.
Gurudāsa: Because of the stringent laws of nature.
Prabhupāda: Because you are small. Just like children—he has got freedom, playing, but when he is doing something wrong, father: "You don't do this. Don't do this. Don't do this." But if he does it, even he is children, even he's child, he'll suffer. He cannot say, "I am child. I did not know, father." Then that does not matter. You must suffer. You must suffer, even though you are child.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And, Śrīla Prabhupāda...
Prabhupāda: Father takes care, "My dear child, don't do this. Don't touch fire." But still, he touches; he must suffer. The fire will not excuse because he is child. That is not possible. Nature's law will act.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This idea of freedom and independence, is it possible for anyone theoretically to surrender to Kṛṣṇa at any time?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So let's say someone is in a very degraded condition of life, modes of ignorance, passion. Their mind is always disturbed. Is surrender to Kṛṣṇa... Is it possible that it can be independent even of the mind?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In other words, let's say someone's mind is...
Prabhupāda: You are independent of mind always. It is your mind. You are not mind.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Then you are independent of mind always.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So even a person merged in the mode of ignorance can by some good fortune surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: No good fortune. God, Kṛṣṇa, says, "You do it"; you do it. Here, immediately you become fortunate. There is no question of waiting for becoming fortunate. You become fortunate immediately. Suppose if I say, "Take this bag, 100,000 dollars," you can take it. Immediately you become rich man. Why don't you take it?
Gurudāsa: How does kṛpā-siddhi work, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Gurudāsa: Kṛpā-siddhi. How does that work?
Prabhupāda: Kṛpā-siddhi means that you are not willing to take this bag. I say, "Take it, take it, take it." (laughter) "No." That is kṛpā-siddhi. Even you are unwilling, I give you in your pocket, push it. That is kṛpā-siddhi. (laughter)
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: We could not wait for that.
Yadubara: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Individual's freedom, when he is ignorant, it is not really freedom because it's completely under the control...
Prabhupāda: And when he gets the money, and he spends it, and he sees, "My poverty is gone," then he becomes thankful: "Oh, it is so merciful that he has given me this thing."
Ātreya Ṛṣi: The individual freedom, when he is in the mode of ignorance, is completely under the laws of material nature. When the individual makes spiritual advancement...
Prabhupāda: Individual freedom means... We should always know our freedom is limited.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Limited. Yes. But...
Prabhupāda: So we are not... Because the Absolute, so how you can..., your freedom can be absolute?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: So the karmī thinks... His freedom is limited to thinking, "Am I going to eat this meat rare or well done?" That is the sort of freedom he is getting.
Prabhupāda: No, you have to...
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Completely ignorance.
Prabhupāda: Just like a thief. He also has got the conscience, "Why shall I steal?"
Ātreya Ṛṣi: "This or this."
Prabhupāda: "This or this." But he knows that "If I do it, I shall be punished."
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. But when an individual spirit...
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is that actual freedom, though? Is that freedom?
Prabhupāda: No, I have already said that you cannot have absolute freedom.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No, but is the spirit soul implicated in that decision in any way, or is it just the modes of nature working, "Well, I'll take this instead of that."
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is the spirit soul implicated in that decision, or is it...
Prabhupāda: What is that decision?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Material things.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Let's say, "I'll go to the cinema, or I'll go to the restaurant." So is the spirit soul implicated in that decision in any way, or is it simply the three modes of material nature working?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: The three modes.
Prabhupāda: I do not follow what is your...
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: There's a situation: either I'll go to the cinema or I'll go to the restaurant. So is the spirit soul...
Prabhupāda: Both of them are sinful.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. So how is the spirit soul involved in it? Is the spirit soul choosing, or is the decision already made by his karma?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Made by modes, material nature.
Prabhupāda: Karma, karma... You can make your kar... You are doing that. Karma you are creating every moment by desire. Karma is... What is that? Thinking, feeling, willing. You think of something; then you do it. That means you create your karma. You are thinking that "I shall go to the cinema"; then you go. That is karma.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: The question is choice.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is...
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Choice.
Prabhupāda: That is desire. Therefore bhakti means you shall not desire anything except to serve Kṛṣṇa. Then you are safe. Because you are desiring so many things for your sense gratification, you are becoming implicated.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. So the point is that if a...
Prabhupāda: Just like a good child. He has decided, "I shall do only what my father says." Then he is safe. And as soon as he misuses his indep..., little independence, he is complicated. So decide like that, that "I shall not do anything which is not ordered by Kṛṣṇa." Then it is all right. Otherwise you'll suffer. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11). Make it zero. Then you are safe. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). Simply do, act, what Kṛṣṇa says; then you are safe. Why don't you do that? That is also independence. You are misusing independence. You are misusing. Then you must suffer. The government says, "Do according to the law." Then you are safe. Government will give all protection. And if you violate law, you must suffer.
Devotee: So take it that there is a man, Śrīla Prabhupāda, who is not very learned in śāstra, but he only simply does what his guru tells him.
Prabhupāda: What is learned? What is learned? A child, does he require learning? When the father says, "You do it," does it require any university education?
Prabhupāda: "He is my father." That's all.
Gurudāsa: Nara-priyā do not know śāstras. They know unalloyed devotion.
Prabhupāda: No, that is the nature. A child generally abides by the orders of the parent. They are playing. The parent says, "Don't do it! Sit down!" Immediately sit down. That is the nature. So why don't you break your nature, that "My duty is to carry out the order of the supreme father?" Then you are safe.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And when you carry out that order—you fully surrender—then you enjoy full freedom.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is full freedom.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That is the freedom.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is freedom.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That is absolute freedom.
Prabhupāda: Full freedom means to be under the order of the Supreme. That is full freedom. That is full freedom.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: The cinema or restaurant is not freedom. It's completely conditioning under the laws of material nature. But fully surrendered soul is fully free.
Prabhupāda: No, no, if you simply, even if you want to go to a cinema...
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He's still responsible for going.
Prabhupāda: If you ask, "Father, I wish to see cinema," if father says, "All right, we'll go," that is not sinful. But you go in your own whims—that is sinful. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā (ISO 1).
Cyavana: Sometimes it's difficult as devotees for us to know whether we're doing the right thing or whether we're just speculating.
Prabhupāda: And therefore you have to consult your guru.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: It's because we are not surrendered.
Cyavana: But even in small things, just day-to-day activities...
Prabhupāda: There is no small thing. Everything big thing for a devotee.
Sudāmā: I've discovered, Śrīla Prabhupāda, the way to do that, of course, is to read your books.
Sudāmā: By reading your books, then all of the...
Prabhupāda: Therefore the books are there.
Sudāmā: Even practical, everything...
Ātreya Ṛṣi: But without attitude of devotion, nothing will work.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Attitude of devotion must be there.
Prabhupāda: The attitude, devotion, is there. Otherwise why one should come to our camp? But it must be properly utilized. It should not be misused. If you go to school and if you don't read books, then you'll fail in the examination.
Gurudāsa: But the attitude of devotion should be there every moment, so everything...
Gurudāsa: ...is very meaningful. Everything is a big thing. When we go out we should realize we're doing it for Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: That is said, man-manā. Think of Kṛṣṇa; He'll guide you. Very easy thing. Man-manā. Always think of Kṛṣṇa, then there is no question of falling down. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). These four things, if strictly done, he is safe. He is safe. Always think of Kṛṣṇa, become His devotee, offer Him obeisances and... Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī, and worship Him. This is Deity worship. That will engage in always in thinking, in offering obeisances. And if we strictly follow only these, these four principles, mām evaiṣyasi asaṁśayaḥ (BG 18.68): "You are coming back to Me without any doubt." But instead of thinking Kṛṣṇa, we are thinking something else, planning something, misusing independence.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Bhimasena... I was speaking to him two days ago. He says that he'll turn over that temple to us. He wants to meet you, so I'm going to call him to come and see you.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: He's a big talker, but I was flattering him, and I said, "If you transfer it over to..." (laughter) He said, "I'll do it when Prabhupāda comes." So I'll tell him to come and see you today and... I told him if he transfers it over to us, then we can build better on the top. He has already built something downstairs, and we can make it a very beautiful temple.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: We'll call it Bhimasena.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: He wants to become famous, so I said, "Everybody will know that you built a temple there."
Prabhupāda: So it is good idea.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, the location is very good. It's right in the center. And they have Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deities there, plus they have Rāma, Sītā, Lakṣmaṇa, Hanumān, which we can also worship.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Only problem is they have Durgā.
Prabhupāda: Durgā, so we can worship, giving Durgā the prasādam of Rāma or Kṛṣṇa. That's it.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, something can be worked out.
Prabhupāda: Not directly. His prasāda. If we can worship ordinary human being, why not Durgā? But we give prasādam. We shall give. But don't tell all these things now.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: No, I didn't tell him anything.
Prabhupāda: We do not say that we do not believe in the demigods. No, we believe in. But they are servants. That's all. We cannot make the servant and the master on the equal footing. That is all. We worship Durgā, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā chāyeva bhuvanāni vibharti durgā (BS 5.44). Now, what is the function? Icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā govindam ādi... She is acting by the desire of the Supreme Lord, Govinda.
Gurudāsa: Better than we are and should be worshiped.
Gurudāsa: Better devotee than we are and should be worshiped.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: As a devotee.
Prabhupāda: Yes, she's a devotee. Just like we say "prabhu." Prabhu means your master. So "Because you are devotee, we accept you as master." Master means "I am ready to serve you because you are devotee. I am your servant." Dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80). "Because you are devotee, I am prepared to serve you. Otherwise not."
Cyavana: Do the demigods sometimes forget their positions?
Prabhupāda: Why you are serving me? If I had been an ordinary person, why...? You would not have... Because you accept that "You are devotee," therefore you serve. So as soon as we find a devotee, immediately serve him. Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā, nistāra pāyeche kebā (Prema-bhakti-candrikā). Without serving a devotee, who can be elevated? It is our duty. So we can serve the devotee.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Why is...
Prabhupāda: Prahlāda Mahārāja was offered, "Whatever you like, you take." He said, "No, no, I don't want anything. Please engage me in the service of Your servant." He rejected everything. He simply said, nīja-dāsya-yogam: "Kindly engage me in the service of Your servant." That is wanted.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, Prahlāda Mahārāja...
Prabhupāda: He did not want even direct service. "Engage me in Your service," he did not say.
Prabhupāda: He said, "Engage me in Your servant's service."
Gurudāsa: So if we see people in the world as potential devotees, we should also serve them so they can become good devotees.
Prabhupāda: That is not service; that is mercy. One who is potential devotee, to show him mercy, develop him to become a devotee. That is mercy; that is not service. Service can be rendered to the higher person. And to the lower person you can show your mercy.
Gurudāsa: Oh, that's a good distinction.
Hari-śauri: That's said in Upadeśāmṛta...
Prabhupāda: Yes. One who is lower than you, he requires your mercy. You give him mercy. And who is higher than you, you give him service. Not that Vivekananda did, that everyone service. No. Service to the higher person. And to the lower person? Mercy.
Gurudāsa: Someone asked me the other day if I knew Swami...
Prabhupāda: And equal person? Friendship.
Prabhupāda: With equal, friendship. With higher, service. And with lower, mercy.
Gurudāsa: And envious, ignore.
Prabhupāda: Yes, ignore. Neutral: "You go to hell. We don't mind."
Gurudāsa: Somebody asked me the other day if I knew Swami Vivekananda. I said "Viveka-who?" He said, "Vivekananda is very famous in the West. Do you know him?" I said, "Viveka-who? I have never heard of him."
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) So he was little surprised.
Cyavana: They made some propaganda, that's all.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That's Gurudāsa's trick.
Hari-śauri: Śrīla Prabhupāda, if one serves the higher devotees and shows compassion to less advanced devotees, then where is the question, say, for a position of an advanced devotee who is feeling himself to be the lowest? So is that distinction still there of higher and lower? If he is feeling himself to be the lowest?
Prabhupāda: He does not feel lowest. He takes sympathy, that "Here is a person. He can be a devotee. So let me raise him to the standard." He does not think that he is lowest. Devotee always thinks that he is lower than the worm. But it is the duty. It is the duty. It does not mean that he is thinking, "I am higher." No.
Gurudāsa: That's again mercy.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In other words, he doesn't consider that he's advanced and that therefore he is showing mercy to lower.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. He is always thinking, "I am lower than the worm, but Lord Kṛṣṇa wants, so let me do some service." That's all.
Gurudāsa: That is our occupation—to show mercy to others.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And amongst devotees, Godbrothers, an advanced devotee is one who sees that "Everybody is serving Kṛṣṇa so nicely..."
Ātreya Ṛṣi: "...so let me assist them."
Ātreya Ṛṣi: "Let me facilitate their service."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore we say prabhu. Prabhu means "You are my master. Please order me. What can I do for you?" That should be the attitude. (break) ..."Gurudāsa Prabhu, please come here and brush my shoes." (laughter) What kind of prabhu? He should say, "Gurudāsa Prabhu, can I brush your shoes?" That is real Vaiṣṇava, not that "Gurudāsa Prabhu, come here and brush my shoes."
Prabhupāda: Other devotees, they do not come for morning class?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: For the walk?
Prabhupāda: Not for walk. At least we shall hold morning class or not?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes, Prabhupāda, please.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: A few devotees are staying at the hotel here.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: There is a program tonight if you'd rather... There is a program this evening, going out, the Rotary Club. So if you would rather just give class this evening.
Prabhupāda: No, no, regularly we hold morning class anywhere. So... So that morning class is not going to be held here?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: In the temple we have it. They had it this morning, but... (break) (end)